Tampa mayor announces paid family leave for full-time employees

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced on Wednesday that the City of Tampa will now implement paid parental leave to full-time workers.

The new parental leave policy provides primary caregivers with eight weeks of paid leave and secondary caregivers with two weeks of paid leave after the birth of a new child or placement of a child for adoption or foster care.

Full-time employees who have completed their first year with the City of Tampa will be eligible for the new benefit, beginning on February 12, 2017.

Buckhorn said that access to paid leave after the birth of a new child offers a wide range of health benefits for mothers and children. Providing paid parental leave will also improve the city’s ability to recruit and retain talent, decrease worker turnover and boost productivity.

“Attracting and retaining the most talented workforce does not solely lie in downtown amenities and adding jobs, it also requires providing a twenty-first-century workforce for twenty-first century families,” said Mayor Bob Buckhorn.

“The progress we make on this front will directly impact our competitiveness in attracting and retaining the best employees we can. Creating an environment in the City of Tampa that values the contributions of everyone and recognizes the need to balance work and family can only insure to the benefit of the people serve.”

Christina Barker, special assistant to Mayor Buckhorn, said for the most part the Mayor’s office will expect other city employees to pick up the slack caused by this additional leave. But, there is a hard cost associated with firefighters in the fire department which has mandatory staffing levels.

The financial estimate is that it could cost as much as $290,000 a year extra to implement the Mayor’s new policy. The Mayor’s office said the hard cost will be outweighed by the benefits in recruitment retention wellness and happiness in the workplace of Tampa City government.

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